UN Special Rapporteur visits protesting Keppapilavu villagers

A United Nations delegation led by Special Rapporteur Clément Nyalestsossi Voule met with protesting Tamil villagers from Keppapilavu last week, as they continued to demand the Sri Lankan military vacate their land. Voule is leading a delegation to assess rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association on the island. His visit to Keppapilavu comes as Tamil villagers continued their protest, which has gone on for more than 870 days so far. Speaking to reporters in Mullaitivu last week, where the Sri Lankan security forces have continued to occupy private Tamil land, the protestors...

Black July remembered across Tamil homeland

The victims of Black July, the horrific anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983 when thousands of Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces, were remembered across the Tamil homeland on Tuesday, thirty-six years on.

British Tamils mark Black July with protest at Downing Street

British Tamils held a protest at Downing Street this evening, as they marked 36 years since the Black July pogrom where thousands of Tamils were killed by rampaging Sinhala mobs. Crowds gathered in London where they chanted slogans calling for justice for the massacres and for an independent Tamil state to safeguard Tamil lives.

Canadian PM remembers Black July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remembered the thousands of Tamil pepople who lost their lives and the countless others who were displaced during the Black July pogrom of 1983. "Black July was a week of violent riots and horrific destruction that followed decades of unrest and rising tensions in the country. It led to a conflict that lasted 26 years, killing tens of thousands more people and leaving lasting wounds in communities across Sri Lanka," said Justin Trudeau. "I extend my deepest sympathies to all those who suffered and lost family, frends, and neighbours during Black July and...

'Extremist Buddhist monks are taking the law into their hands': Federation of Saiva Hindu Temples (UK)

The Federation of Saiva (Hindu) Temples UK made a public appeal to the heads of all four religious faiths in Sri Lanka to take steps to address the progressing extremism, citing the case of Buddhist monks destroying a Hindu temple in Kanniya, Trincomalee. "We note with considerable concern that extremist Buddhist monks are taking the law into their hands and undermining the very constitutional safeguards to illegally construct a Buddhist shrine by destroying a popular Hindu temple for Ganesha in the land owned by Hindus in Kanniya in Trincomalee with the backing of the exclusively Buddhist...

Remembering Black July

Today marks thirty-six years since the horrors of the anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, when thousands of Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces. Armed with electoral rolls, Sinhala mobs targeted Tamil homes and businesses, looting and ransacking property. Driven from their homes, particularly in Colombo, over 3000 Tamils were massacred, whilst thousands more were effectively deported by the state to the North-East.

Sri Lanka police plant drugs and arrest Tamil man

A Tamil man in Mannar reported that Sri Lankan police arrested him after he refused to buy cannabis from them. Two Tamil men were approached by two non-uniformed police officers while they were smoking cigarettes in Naruvili Kulam, Mannar. The police officers forced cannabis into the hands of one man and urged the pair to buy it. When both men refused, the officers arrested the man holding the drugs and took him to Murunkan police station. Despite police trying to blackmail the man into producing a guilty confession, he was later released due to lack of evidence. The incident angered locals...

Sri Lanka's state of emergency extended by another month

The Sri Lankan government has extended the state of emergency by another month after an extraordinary gazette was issued today. President Maithripala Sirisena said he believed there was a "public emergency" in the country and was invoking provisions of the Public Security Act. This is the third extension following the Easter Sunday bombings by Islamist extremists, which targetted luxury hotels and churches. The emergency regulations, which grant the state's security forces additional powers, have been used to carry out widespread search operations, detentions and arrests.

Tamil families of the disappeared hold rally in Batticaloa

Tamil families of the disappeared who have been demanding information on the whereabouts of her loved ones, held a rally in Batticaloa this month, marking more than two years since they began their protest.

Sri Lankan archbishop accuses government of ‘pleasing NGOs’ instead of investigating ‘international conspiracy’

The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith lashed out at the Sri Lankan government and called for its leaders to resign, accusing them of weakening the country’s intelligence services and acting at the behest of “international NGOs”. The archbishop, an ethnic Sinhalese who has a long history of supporting hardline Sinhala Buddhist figures, said government leaders were not properly investigating the Easter Sunday attacks and “did not care about the international conspiracy against the country”. “They weakened and demoralized the intelligence services to please their...